After passing an ordinance requiring the installation of fire sprinkler in all new construction one- and two-family homes, the Village of Alsip is now seeing the results of that ordinance — the first fire sprinkler protected home.
The Alsip Fire Department pushed for a residential fire sprinkler ordinance in 2007, recognizing that fire sprinklers are a crucial life safety element. The Village board agreed that it was a sound decision for the safety of both residents and firefighters responding to fires and passed the ordinance in October 2007.
This year, during the building process of the Village’s first home to be protected with fire sprinklers, fire officials and the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) were able to have an open house. The open house helped the Village mayor, other Village officials and community members better understand the fire sprinklers and see them behind the walls. NIFSAB and the Illinois Fire Inspectors Association provided a fire demonstration and recognized everyone involved with plaques to commemorate the event.
According to Deputy Chief Kevin Pickar of the Alsip Fire Department, even though this was H&G Builders’ first home built with fire sprinklers, they were very easy to work with and they made it a pleasant experience for everyone involved. Advanced Fire Protection installed the fire sprinkler system and, along with the fire department, helped H&G Builders better understand the process of the fire sprinkler installation. The fire department also ensured that the fire sprinkler system was properly insulated for freeze protection.
After the homeowners move in, the fire department’s fire prevention bureau personnel will instruct them on the maintenance and benefits of the system so that they are fully aware and educated about the life safety system that protects them from fire.
“It was an exciting process for all parties to be involved with,” says Pickar. ” The residents of the home will not only benefit from lower insurance premiums, but they also will be afforded the extra time to escape in the case of a fire.”
“Residential fire sprinkler quickly react in concert with smoke detectors to help provide people the time they need to escape the home and get to their place of safety,” adds Pickar. “With the rapid spread of modern fires, residential fire sprinkler are essential to both public and firefighter safety.”
Pickar also notes that the peace of mind that fire sprinklers offer is what led to him sprinklering his own home.